Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Today

A little busy today, then this afternoon I'm going over to babysit my nephew. He's 20 months old and a lot of fun; his personality has blossomed considerably in the last few months and he's become a real person. The kid is into tools in a big way--garden trowels, screwdrivers, battery-operated power drills (without the bit), you name it. He also likes stacking wood and digging up his mother's flower garden. Should be a fun afternoon.

Here are a couple of things to read if you need to get annoyed: Orrin Hatch actually said the anti-flag-burning amendment is the most important issue facing the United States right now; and the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (that's the one chaired by Inhofe) issues a black-is-white press release about Al Gore's movie (you can almost smell their desperation, it's becoming so palpable). Is there some kind of law of political science somewhere that says that extremists always rise to the top? Just wondering.

Now I'm going to go play in the dirt.

1 comment:

jamesb said...

Is there some kind of law of political science somewhere that says that extremists always rise to the top?

I'm young so I can't say from experience, but I understand that recent redistricting has contributed to a lot of the polarized politics of the House. This is because incumbents who pander to the base generally have an easy time getting reelected in strongly Democratic or strongly republican districts. This matters because Inhofe was in the House for 3-4 terms before he came to the Senate... as is the case with a lot of these highly partisan types.

Juliet Eilperin (WaPo) just wrote a very readable book that talks about how current practices coupled with the highly sophisticated redistricting software has created a growing number of these "safe-seats" in the House. This, she says, has been at least partially responsible for the rise to power of these polarizing figures.

IMO, this is why yesterday's Supreme Court ruling will prove to be such a disaster.